Majority of the respondents felt the president was wrong to have removed the power minister.
About two months after his exit as power minister, many Nigerians still believe that Barth Nnaji, the former minister of power should not have been removed from office.
In a PREMIUM TIMES poll conducted over two months with over 300 respondents, one in three people (35 per cent) said the former minister’s achievements outweighed his crime and he should have been allowed to continue in office.
Three in ten people (29 per cent) said it was hypocritical of the president to have approved Mr. Nnaji’s exit.
It was not all condemnation of Mr. Nnaji’s exit though as three in twenty people (15 per cent) said it was right and appropriate for him to have left the ministry. Another one in five people (21 per cent) said the former minister should not only have been fired but prosecuted as well.
Presidential spokesperson, Reuben Abati, had released a statement on August 28 evening saying President Goodluck Jonathan had accepted the power minister’s resignation and wished him well in his future endeavours.
The former minister’s resignation was initially linked to allegations of conflict of interest in the privatization of the power plants. Mr. Jonathan however clarified the reason for the exit of the former power minister.
The president explained that Mr. Nnaji was in constant power tussle with a presidential adviser on power, Reynolds Dagogo-Jack; and that one of them had to leave.
“We have done it (re-constituted the task force) this way, because the other time when Nnaji was the Chairman, the Secretary (Dagogo-Jack) was my own Special Adviser and he was also his (Nnaji) Special Adviser, and there was a lot of conflicts between the two of them, because they said two captains cannot drive the same ship,” Mr. Jonathan said while reconstituting the presidential task force on power.
Mr. Nnaji was credited with ensuring an improvement in power generation to unprecedented level and also an improvement in power supply to Nigerians.